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In Part 2 of Show 23 (from 10min 23s) of the csuitepodcast that I recorded at the World PR Forum in Toronto, I chatted to independent consultant, Aimee Lewis and Mike McDougall, President of McDougall Communications, straight after their session on ‘Shaping the Future of Visual Communications’.
— Alex Anderson (@Alexmegan_) May 31, 2016
During their presentation, Mike and Aimee shared 10 trends about content that the audience needed to be aware of, available on their presentation slides, and in our interview we discussed a few of them, starting with the need to plan your content for viewing on screens in the future.
To explain this Mike used the example of someone looking at shelves of VHS tapes and wondering what to do with them now! Therefore, his recommendation is to not only prepare for the 4K visual revolution, but also 8K. Practically, this means if you are producing video content, then futureproof it and shoot it for those larger formats – and this is just in consideration of flat screen. He quickly pointed out that this isn’t even taking into consideration 3D or immersive technologies.
When it comes to getting to grips with new technologies though, and how they may work for your brand, the concern for many communicators is in having to continually chase the next new platform. Mike’s recommendation is therefore to look for what is showing a bit of staying power.
He explained to me that in his presentation, he showed a number of platforms that are nascent. However, typically, 8 or 9 out of 10 of those will fail in their first year. He therefore suggests that communicators get familiar with them and that if you have a niche audience that is using them, then by all means get involved and perhaps use it to test and learn, maybe as a pilot, but not to sink a ton of resources into them. If you then find you get some traction after a few months, then take a bet on a number of platforms and if one pays off, then you won’t worry about those that failed.
Aimee made the point that a number of the technologies that they showed are in fact free apps, or cost just a few dollars, and so, without spreading yourself too thin, you could try them out and it not be too expensive to do so.
A good example is Augmented Reality, which I personally know is easy to use having seen some of the demos that Conversis have played with when using it for translation purposes.
The example that Mike and Aimee showed was by Simpson College:
Mike gave three bits of advice to adding to Aimee’s point about trying things out if time and budget was an issue:
- Time is what you make of it – a lot of the work he does in testing new technologies is during, what he calls, ‘couch time’ – experimenting out of work, whilst watching TV at home, for example.
- Set yourself up with a University or someone who is looking to pilot it – make a beta site and invite people to try it with you
- Reallocate some of your resources – you may be spending money on techniques that were relevant five years ago but maybe they aren’t today, so perhaps experiment with some of that budget
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